Saturday, August 04, 2012


If I could turn the clock back six weeks or so, I would write the highlights of the family wedding that occupied so much of my attention, the wedding of Mark and Tracey. I would write about the surprising pleasure of spending 10 days in the close company of the bride’s family. Her parents, Al and Jane, came here from New Brunswick, moved into our spare bedroom, and cooked dinner for us almost every night. We’d have enjoyed their company even if they hadn’t, given what nice people they are. I’d write about all the fun we had—the dance that went on until the groom finally sent the DJ home. I’d write about the laughter that started at the rehearsal and continued right through the morning-after good-bye brunch. I’d write about the food—chosen for different occasions by different people--all of it excellent. I’d write about the pleasure of bringing families together, the moment of stressful waiting for the grass in the table centre pieces to grow to the desired height, the joyful applause at the church, the way everything ran on schedule, the quiet time of gift opening when the crowds had left us. Let’s take turns opening, said the couple. So ten of us took turns. Kitty-sitting for the honeymooners on this bright Saturday, with the wedding two weeks behind us, and my heart still overflowing with what the officiating minister later referred to as “all that marvellous energy”, I mostly recall the almost-unflappable graciousness of Mark and Tracey at the peak of emotional overload. Herein lies the greatest hope. For surely this is what we most often need in the winding and crossing of a long marriage—almost-unflappable graciousness.

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